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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 7, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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civil rights workers died. i wonder why he gave that speech. and by the way, he was against the legislation hand to him and vetoed it and they overcame his veto and so the one thing reagan was conservative on was racial issues. that didn't sit pretty with history. what an american hero. all right. that's the show for today. "hardball" is up next. so enjoy that. who's beckoning glenn beck? let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington, leading off tonight, dancing in the dark. glenn beck, ever wonder where he gets his stuff? how about the latest that those protests over in egypt are really working for the political left. i'm sorry, according to his
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latest tight dia tribes, he's working with president bush as well. it's hard to keep the conspiracy together. you have to wonder where he gets this stuff. a certified conservative says beck's hysterical blaming of the left for events in cairo, if you can tell it apart from what beck's saying. want to predict what beck's going to say tomorrow? listen to what the berkshires say today, he's not just dancing in the dark, he's dancing with the devil. president obama is the same guy he was a man of the middle. today he went into the lion's den, the united states chamber of congress. the republican leaning group he's done battle with for over two years. our leader will do anything to get this economy moving and creating jobs. and sarah palin's out there preaching journalism, the politician who couldn't tell
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katie couric wt she reads is now telling us what to write. she wants to teach us fair and balanced like where she works over at fox. on the 100th anniversary of his birth, ronald reagan has become that rare transcended figure in american politics. i have questions for the people that made the big documentary on him. would reagan who opposed aggression have attacked iraq? finally, i know the lyrics to "the star spangled banner" are tough, but couldn't christina aguilera have learned the words before presenting it to the world? ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ the perilous fight ♪ what so proudly we watched ♪ as the twilight's last gleaming ♪ >> tonight's side show. we start with glenn beck.
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david brock is the founder of media matters and the washington bureau chief from mother jones. gentlemen, i want you to take a look at glenn beck last tuesday, last week we showed you glenn beck's latest off the rail strangeness about what's happening in the middle east, here is a reminder, let's listen. >> iraq is really important especially to the shiites, especially to the 12ers who are in charge of this country right now. because what is in iraq? there's one place that we told our bombers not to bomb. does anybody know what it was? two wars in iraq, we said no bombing there. ancient babylon. ancient babylon. why? because the bible tells us that that is the seat, right here of power of a global, evil empire. well, that's also where the 12th
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imam from iran is supposedly going to show up. everybody on this side wants ancient babylon. >> why would george herbert walker bush, our commander in the first gulf war, and george w. bush, our commander in the second gulf war. say do not bomb this place. i'm working with those guys. this is really something. here he is, conservative leader fox news commentator bill crystal wrote in his issue today, when glenn beck rants about the caliphate taking over the middle east from morocco to the philippines, he brings to mind no one so much as robert welch in the john birch society, he's marginalizing himself as his predecessors did in the early '60s. here's part of beck's reaction to crystal on the radio today. >> people like bill kristol
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don't stand for anything anymore. all they stand for is power. you confuse conservative principles now with conservative progressive principles. and really, times have changed, bill. times have changed. it's time to see the world as it really is and to see how these big government solutions and getting into bed with dictators is really something that the left does and not something that the right should do. >> what is he talking about? is he on the side of the protesters or against them? is he blaming the protesters on the american left or is he tieing the protesters in with the bushes because they agreed on not bombing the sites of the new calaphate? i can't call it crazy because i'm not a diagnostician. what is it? >> basically he's setting out there are power players some of
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which he identified as u.s. left but obscure people, code pink, the tides foundation, a.c.o.r.n. what you have to understand for people who don't watch this show is that conspiracy theory has been a cornerstone of this show for months and months. this is a bizarre theory, there's been others on this show for months and months. this creates a real problem for fox because conservatives are starting to weigh in. it's not just bill cyst kristol. >> is this the way that bill buckley said back in the '50s and 60s, you can't be a berkshire if you want to be a true conservative. >> we've been waiting for someone to stand up in the conservative movement and call this out in a serious way. i think we're at a tipping point. there are other conservative movement leaders, what is sarah palin going to say who's very close to glenn beck. >> what i don't understand is why when you have real dangers out there, we don't know who the new government of egypt is going to be.
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you don't accuse the old bolshevics from moscow, why would you do that except that it appeals to an older audience who was more familiar with those enemies and was more willing to believe in enemies within than anything else. isn't that what it's about? >> what's happening now is that he's putting himself on the wrong side of conservatives who are out there in favor of democracy in egypt. so he's creating this divide. >> is he for or against the protesters? >> he says it's not about the pretestors. it's not about the people or democracy. it's about this grand conspiracy on the left. >> you never know where anybody gets ideas, but here's art thompson, he's the chief executive officer of the john
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birch site. here's what he said last week on january 31st. see if you can't hear glenn beck's sort of john the baptist on all of this. a guy who told it before. here it is, let's listen. >> this is the thing that we're trying to get our arms around here inside the john birch society is what is really happening in tanisha and egypt and yemen and other places that doesn't bode well for the future, doesn't look good, has all the signs of an upheaval that due to united states policies and the state department we're radicalizing all of islam. this is not a good thing. now everybody will think oh, it's the koran, everybody will think oh, it's the muslims, but no, it will be moscow and beijing and regrettably, ladies and ntlemen, washington, d.c. >> that is exactly beck and beck said it afterwards. you have to listen to this guy first. it's moscow, beijing,
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washington, hillary clinton, barack obama, american liberals. >> we have been saying for some time, look, here's the thing. >> does it sound like this guy's parroting the john birch society? >> this is the john birch society. it's in your living room every night and on your radio every day. it's a different thing, it's not the standard republican national committee talking points, it's a very peculiar and dangerous thing. it's been building for some time. there's racism, there's anti-semitism in here. >> catch this guy thompson, because he's doing something here they don't think beck will repeat. it includes this diatribe that includes the 7th, today, and he's going after among all the other networks, fox. i don't think that's in the plan. let's listen. >> the world communist apparatus
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including the communist organizations in these countries are very much involved in this process. but to the extent they're actually parading with communists, hammering sickles on red flags, the whole nine yards, but somehow or another cnn can't find these people, and fox can't find these people and the other five networks that aren't very significant anymore in the way of news. but i find that strange, that we get this one-sided idea that these people are democrats out in the streets. >> he's a strange guy, he's only keeping track of cnn and fox. >> this is the problem that glenn beck is going to run into. he's going to have to look at fox and say, listen, fox is not reporting what i'm telling you. >> is fox reporting what glenn beck is saying? >> when bill o'reilly interviewed the president at the super bowl, did he talk about any of these global plans? >> bill o'reilly is a grudging guy, but he isn't insane.
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>> but then what happens with glenn beck is he has to look at o'reilly and fox and say these guys are in on it too. >> this may be fishing in troubled waters which we also do here occasionally. here's joe kline of "time" magazine, one of the real veterans of the main stream media. here's what he wrote on saturday so he obviously watched this fight between kristol and beck. he says i have heard from more than a couple of conservative sources that prominent republicans have approached rupert murdock that the paranoid messianic rodeo clown is on thin ice. he was born on thin ice. >> he is on thin ice. these are not the first conservatives, they may be the most prominent conservatives to criticize beck. but remember when beck had that racist attack on obama, you had david frumm who lost his job,
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you have had joe scarborough out there. >> he was fired by the american enterprises after he criticized beck. people have been trying to do this. kathleen parker have been trying to do this. other people have raised their voices. and then you have the 400 rabbis in the "wall street journal." conservative rabbis. >> the egyptian uprising has raised the stakes. when he was just going after the left and the tides foundation and the a.c.o.r.n., it didn't matter to a lot of people on the right. but now he's out there saying we have to support mubarak. but bill kristol and others are in on the conspiracy, it matters to them. >> the problem with mccarthy is i remember from the old days was, the republicans liked him when he was attacking harry truman and all those people. but he kept attacking, because if you want to be a demagogue, you have to keep demagoguing, so here's this guy not only attacking the left, he's going after the old left and former soviet union.
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then he's got to go after the bushes, then they were targeted because that's going to be part of some caliphate. >> he's going to have to attack his attackers. he's going to have to attack bill kristol to his list of the nine enemies of america. eight of whom are jews in his list of nine. >> do you make something of that? >> sure. >> keep watching. thank you for coming on. coming up, president obama's trying to make peace with wall street, but after staving off a great depression and saving general motors and chrysler, think about the guy's record. what's the stock market now? what was it headed toward when he came in. was there an american auto industry when he came in. three of them still going with ford, gm and chrysler's still there, now we got a stock market that's zooming. you're watching "hardball." a place where we do recognize the facts. you know her. ♪ hey, what you do to me
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big news in washington, congresswoman jane harmon will announce tomorrow she's quitting the congress. she surprised colleagues with the news she's retiring to become president and ceo of the center. harmon has been a senior foreign policy and an intelligent force in the democratic party. her district is reliably democratic and a special election will be called to fill that seat. you have to be elected to sit in congress. that's one of my favorite parts of the constitution. no appointments. "hardball" will be right back. new fixodent plus scope ingredients. cleans and kills germs that cause odors to your dentures. new fixodent cleanser plus scope ingredients. [ male announcer ] from jet engines that have fewer emissions, to new ways to charge electric cars,
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today american companies have nearly $2 trillion sitting on their balance sheets and i know that many of you have told me that you're waiting for demand to rise before you get off the sidelines and expand. and that with millions of americans out of work, demand has risen more slowly than any of us would like. we're in this together. >> that's what our president is willing to do for america. welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama today speaking to the u.s. chamber of commerce in washington. they've had their differences of course. you know what i see when i look at that? this sounds partisan to some people. i see a guy willing to do anything to get the economy rolling, willing to walk into a hornets nest of people to spend billions of dollars to defeat his candidates last year who didn't like him, don't like him. he went in there to find common ground. it's a positive thing to do. i can see where some people on the left don't like it.
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if you're going to rule this country effectively, meaning bringing back the economy, i think you've got to make friends you normally wouldn't hang out with. your thoughts? >> i think that's true, chris, and as a matter of politics, it's impossible for a democrat to get elected or re-elected as president of the united states. most of the business community is opposed to him and his policies. that was the situation fairly or not that president obama found himself in at the end of last year, not just on wall street, but in fortune 500 countries, small businesses, medium sized businesses in the service sector across the country. in some cases for good reasons. in many cases i think for bad reasons. they were hostile to him. and that is a position you can't be in going forward, not only can you not get the economy kick started without the private sector on your side, but you can't get re-elected without them on your side and president obama realized that at the end of last year and is trying to make amends and get everyone on the same side for his political good and economic good of the country. >> he's not trying to get into
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their club and they're not trying to get into his club. this is about common interest. i know corporate america likes to cut costs, that's the way it works in free enterprise and capitalist societies. part of that is to keep the capital society alive. isn't that hiring some people in this country? isn't that part of keeping the whole thing working? >> well, chris, what you saw, i think in the speech today was some carrot and some stick, it was, hey, look, i'm coming here, that matters, we can work together. south korea trade agreement, some tax incentives for small businesses, there are places we can work together. but that clip you played, that was the stick, which was, hey, i need you guys to get on board at some level and i would say i don't question to your initial point, i don't question president obama's desire to want this economy to get better and to do anything it can to get better. it's also in his political interests, chris, and another thing that's in his political interest is looking as though he's big. i always thought it was important, i thought bill clinton was not good at it, barack obama is good at it, look
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big, look magnanimous, go do an interview with bill o'reilly, for example, look presidential. independents is the group that swings the most. they like the idea that the president is working or at least trying to work with the other side to solve problems for the country. that will ultimately matter to him in 2012. >> i'm not a tennis player, but john howard, you're a tennis player, is this just like jumping over the tennis net when you've lost? let's look at the president today. a little more of something like that. >> as we work with you to make america a better place to do business, i'm hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for america. ask yourselves what you can do to hire more american workers, what you can do to support the american economy and
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invest in this nation. that's what i want to talk about today. the responsibilities we all have, the mutual responsibilities we have. to secure the future that we all share. >> john, you're a master at the university of new york and put yourselves in the shoes of the master of the universe up on wall street, a guy 35, 40 years old, doing well, they hear that speech, do they say malarkey or do they say that's a good plan to put americans to work. >> if i was a master of the universe, i would have better thing to do with my time than talking to you. >> don't be putting it down, a lot of guys with money come on these shows. your thoughts? >> i think that there are a lot of business people in the country who have thought that president obama doesn't understand how the free market works, that he's been too hostile to them in the past. not just on wall street, but across the country in terms of business. they felt that the administration painted with too broad a brush with some of its populous rhetoric over the last two years.
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i think they are certainly pleased that there is a change in tone and the president is evidently acknowledging the fact that he feels and the people around him feel they painted them with too broad a brush. i think that is a start of a better conversation. but to get to your point about substance, the other thing that make this is possible, that makes moving forward in a more constructive way possible is that their agenda is more -- on questions like trade, on infrastructure, on education, on promotion of education, these are all things that the business sector wants and they can live with the kinds of policies that the president wants to put forward. tax reform is another item. >> chris, i want you to talk about the performance last night on the super bowl. apparently according to bill o'reilly, he's so lacking in ego, he pointed out that this is the most watched interview in the history of mankind. let's see what we make of it. let's watch the super bowl interview pregaming with bill o'reilly and the president.
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let's listen. >> i haven't -- i didn't move to -- >> you haven't moved anywhere. you're the same guy. >> i'm the same guy and my practical focus, my common sense focus right now is how do we outeducate, outcompete the rest of the world. how do we compete in the united states of america, how do we make sure that businesses are thriving and how are we also making sure that ordinary americans are living out the american dream. >> i hope you do it because americans need to be secure in their lives. >> pretty aggressive body language from mr. o'reilly right there. you would think that the oval office in that environment would subdue your arm gestures, but not bill. >> in the 24-hour pregame before the super bowl, i did watch the interview. what i was struck by more than anything, it felt like two ships passing in the night. they were sitting close to each other, bill o'reilly is interviewing president obama. o'reilly would ask a question, obama would kind of answer what
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he wanted. it was like they were having a conversation in two separate phone booths. here's what i would say. i know i'm hung up on this, but with that independence message, what were the two big buzz words out of that clip you just played. practicality, common sense and creating more jobs, independent voters. 45% of the country democrats are going to vote for president obama. 45% of republicans are going to vote against him. 10% in the middle that we're going to spend the next 20 months talking about. it's the chamber through hiring bill daly at his chief of staff. he's already trying to position himself to appeal to those centers. >> thank you very much. up next, it's a big deal to sing the national anthem before the super bowl, of course, so what went wrong yesterday with christina aguilera, apparently the lyrics weren't what she check out the side show next.
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back to "hardball." time for the side show. first talk about starting on the wrong note. at last night's super bowl, christina aguilera flubbed perhaps the most revered of american tunes, the national here's aguilera's rendition alongside the actual lyrics. ♪ what so proudly we hailed at
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the twilight's last gleaming ♪ >> wow. well, aguilera later apologized saying she hoped the true spirit of the anthem still came through. hey, who wouldn't get nervous with 100 million people watching. don rumsfeld was pressed by abc's diane sawyer on whether he would have acted differently in the iraq war had he known that saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. the answer was vintage rummy. >> if you had known he did not have them -- >> i didn't know. >> if you had. >> i didn't. >> if you had -- >> i have no idea. i have no idea. what you know today can help you on things you're thinking about tomorrow. it can't help you with things you were thinking about back then. >> rumsfeld was also asked if sending too few troop into the iraq was the biggest mistake of the war. his response, it's possible. as we showed you last week when i asked rumsfeld if george w. bush ever asked him if we should
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go to war with iraq, he said the president never did. this is still strange stuff. they are all covering for each other. what's in a jelly bean, here's what dan quayle wrote in politico. when i was a child, president ronald reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the white house. i didn't know then but i know it now t jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts, they represented the uniqueness and greatness of america, each one different, but collectively they blended in harmony. how about deal with rights and opportunities for the people in america and our melting pot here? how about illegal immigration? immigration reform and how about rights for gays, not memories of jelly beans. up next sarah palin media critic, she says she wants to help the main stream media be more balanced and says the fact she studied journalism in college, i think one of the four or five colleges she went, to makes her qualified to do so.
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she's also making a wild claim that president obama knows who's taking over egypt and what he suspect telling us. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. client comes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize. "i better start doing something." we open up that box. we organize it. and we make decisions. we really are here to help you. they look back and think "wow. i never thought i could do this." but we've actually done it. [ male announcer ] visit ameriprise.com and put a confident retirement more within reach. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to learn... so products get routed to where they're needed most. ♪
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here's what's happening. islamist rebel leader is claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed 36 people at a moscow airport last month. protesters in egypt keeping up the pressure on president mubarak saying concessions offered on sunday don't go far enough. meanwhile, a young google executive who was credited with
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starting that the uprising has been released. an independent state will be the newest country in july. americans are pulling out the plastic again after two years of belt tightening and paying down debt consumers have now been borrowing modestly for the third straight month. last night's super bowl sent a new record. 111 million americans tuned in to watch the packers defeat the steelers. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." this weekend sarah palin the former governor of alaska criticized president obama's handling of the egypt crisis by recalling that famous 3:00 a.m. phone call. it was in the '08 campaign ad. >> it's a difficult situation, this is that 3:00 a.m. white house phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader
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in the white house, it seems that that call went right to the answering machine and nobody yet has -- nobody yet as explained to the american public what they know and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of mubarak. the best negative politician in america, joining us right now is republican strategist ryan christy and the daily beast. ron, brilliant negative campa n campaigning. she's suggesting a vast conspiracy in the white house to keep us from the truth. she says in kind of a pleasant way, you might say, harmless, but she sticks the knife in pretty well there. >> she does, chris, but i think that her point is fundamentally well taken. this is the first of a major foreign policy crisis of the obama administration and thus far they are failed to articulate a clear strategy. first you had the vice president of the united states joe biden
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saying hosni mubarak is not a dictator, he's an ally. then secretary clinton came out and said something different. the president came out and said democracy needs to happen. mubarak needs to go now. i think what sarah palin and i have never presumed to speak for the governor, but what i think she's trying to say is we need a little bit more coherency and a stronger response from the white house outlining what the international issues are facing our country. >> she said they know what's going on and are keeping it from us. that's a charge of deception, not of ignorance, deception. do you accuse the white house of deception? >> i will say in this particular case, i think the administration has probably decided upon a course of action and probably decided on who they want to back and i don't think it's a case of deception.
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i'm not quite sure they know at this point. >> the former governor of alaska is charging the president and his people with some kind of deception that we know what's going on over there. i believe that almost every statement, in fact all the statements ron just very well stated there is a friend of the united states. he has been. he's a dictator. he sure is. we don't know who is going to take over. these a fact. these are all facts. it's a complicated world i think and we have to acknowledge there are a lot of pieces to it and isn't it simple as the matter of politics we're getting from the former governor of alaska which is always simple. >> i thought it was interesting because she's held back until this point on making any comments about egypt and i know that she has foreign policy advisers. they are very good. this he brief her. but i thought she was pretty unprepared, coming out and saying what she would have done differently, what changes she would have made. she just criticized the president. i thought that was really a missed opportunity. she did get headlines with it which was great, but i think she could have gone there and had a strong answer about what she would have done differently if
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she was in power and she didn't. >> suggesting it was answered by the answering machine is just kind of cheap. i don't think the smart guys, the intellectuals that were backing her were working this week. anyway here's sarah palin on the media, her other target. listen to this and you can respond. >> i want the main stream media and i have said this for a couple of years now, i want to help them. i have a journalism degree, that is what i studied, i understand that in this cornerstone of democracy is a free press, it is sound journalism. i want to help them build back their reputation and allow americans to be able to trust what it is that they are reporting. >> well, it's a powerful piece of communicating there, ron, she has the ability to moderate her voice, she gets serious when she wants to, she raises her voice when she wants to be sarcastic, she's very good at it. what's the point? but what she is saying? that the american media is doing what now? what is her latest charge?
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>> the american media here is very far out of the main stream. in the years past when you used to watch the tom brokaws and the walter cronkites, americans felt they were getting a very straight forward presentation of the news. i believe and i would never presume to speak for governor palin but she's saying there's a certain -- >> how old are you? are you 22 years old? everyone in america liked cronkite and knew he was a liberal. >> everyone in america knew that he was a left winger, but they respected the integrity of what he had to say. i think there are a lot of folks on these cable outlets that are more opinion pieces than they are trying to give the news. >> she's not? >> she's not what? >> she's not a point of view? beck isn't a point of view? she's sitting over there in fair and balanced land with glenn beck accusing people that i am absolutely -- i hate to say it, i don't get it. i hate to ever admit.
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i want to go back to beck and palin because they're on the same label. they ought to patent together. this stuff about conspiracy theories and that the president of the united states is sitting on realities. i wish i had as much confidence in the state department as she does. they've got it figured out who is going to win over there. can't she just admit they don't seem to know where they're going? that's not a bad critique. it's a smart one. they don't know where they're going. they do change their minds every two or three days over there. they don't know whether mubarak is going to last six months, six weeks or two weeks. we don't know. your thoughts, why is it always the easiest thing to do is to sell a conspiracy theory on the right? >> i agree there are 2012ers that have said the president is all over the map. he should take a stance. she did say that. i think because a lot of people that are supporters, the media,
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we're looking at what her first comments on egypt could be. that she should have, as i said before, she should have come out not with a conspiracy, not with what she thinks the president is doing or thinking behind the scenes, but what she would have done if she were in the oval office. i think a lot of her supports would appreciate her doing that. and i think a lot of people that cover her and watch her would be interested in that. i think that made her different and distinct between the president. especially if they come out with a strong response. >> do you know what i think she's doing? ron, think about this, because i respect you, i don't think she is a thoughtful politician, i think she's talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts or anything like it or even this program. they believe her when she says they're keeping the truth from us when the people who believe her are making no effort to find out what the truth is. the people who believe her are making no effort to find out what the truth is so they believe it is someone else's fault. it's an interesting little game
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she plays with people. thank you ron christy, good luck with everything. 100 years after his birth, ronald reagan has transcended politics, he's become an american icon to people of many political stripes. but would reagan's practical politics be accepted by today's right? this is "hardball" only on msnbc. with all the equipment you use to stay fit, you might want to try lifting one of these. in recent years we've added a unique natural sea salt to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. it helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so if you're ready to eat a little better, grab your spoon and do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices...
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any upstart could access the power of logistics... that's... unthinkable. welcome back to "hardball." ronald reagan's 100th birthday would have been yesterday. tonight on hbo a new documentary looks at president reagan's life, the good, the good and the unknowable. here's a clip. >> if you look at ronald reagan's life, what you see is a man who from the most ordinary beginnings grew and grew and grew to become one of the most powerful men of the century. >> my father saw himself as a root child of america. he clearly had a love affair with america. that shining city on a hill business that he talked about.
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he really meant it and he really felt that. he saw himself as a quintessential american kind of guy. here's a kid who grew up not fabulously wealthy circumstances by any stretch of the imagination. his father was a shoe salesman at a time when he wasn't drinking. >> the successful child of an alcoholic is able to repress all of the tough stuff. >> eugene's documentary debuts tonight on hbo. it's always interesting to get into these caliber studies. i grew up watching ronald reagan on g, theater, it was lot top ten all the time. i really liked the guy. i disagreed with his politics and then i liked him again as an historic figure. what do you make of him in terms of the bad side of him? let's talk about the part you didn't put in the documentary. he didn't really care about the environment. he had hard time figuring out
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the role that social policy, social security, medicare and how they helped real people yet if he confronted a case of a real person in trouble, he would sort of write a check to that person. how do you put that together? >> as many people in the film told us especially his family members, talked about a man who on a personal level could really have his heart go out to people. if you had a problem, he would give you the shirt off his back but then would policy making ths deeply hurtful to people. as if when he saw a group of people, he had trouble seeing them as a group of individuals he might care about. so the heart breaking part about him in the film a little bit in part of the bigger picture we show about him is that ronald reagan in many ways presented himself as a friend tomain street america. he would come from the hartland, come from a small town. yet at the end of the day, that reader's digest america, that's the ones that the policies hurt. i think he didn't mean to do that. i agree with definitely the portrait of ronald reagan where this is a man of deep intentions
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and deep love of his country. but i think there were mistakes made. policy ideas he had, reaganomics and others that hurt the very people he sought to most help. >> i think he did some really important things historically. one was dealing with the soviet union. very important, the breaking of the patco strike. they backed him in the election in '80. he broke those guys when they wild catted. i got that through sources. dwayne andrews told tip o'neill, over in the soviet union, they said this guy is for real. this isn't jimmy carter we are dealing with. how did he get the idea that gorbachev was not one of the communists that was awe ton tons. >> i think there's no question everybody wants to play the sort of ronald reagan ended the cold war game. we've been listening to that myth, it is one of the many we hear about.
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what you hear when i got into the footage, i learned how deeply taken ronald reagan was by mikhail gorbachev. it is almost a moviesque idea that the leader of one country could be friends of the leader of another country. but i think it is the friendship between them, i.e., negotiating with adversaries, one of ronald reagan's strong suits. >> i don't think someone like george herbert walker bush would have gotten a clue. it is not all ideology. here is one of my favorites. nancy reagan. i think she got rid of don reagan, one of the worst pests he had in the white house. tip o'neill called up lee iacocca, said get a hold of sinatra, and nancy, and get rid of that bum. it worked, they got rid of him. >> yes. one of the things we go over in the film is the extent that nancy reagan was a vital element in her husband's success. no question that stewart spencer, long time friend and
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adviser of the president talked about how nancy watched the president's back. in many ways what he characterized and jamsz baker as well that ronald reagan was more guileless than the people around him, and nancy did a very necessary job in discovering whether people were working for her husband's agenda or their own. not the story of today. we have so many people with privately held agendas using ronald reagan in ways i don't think were fair to who he was. >> well said. let's look at nancy reagan. >> she would have done anything for him. but she ended up having to make an awful lot of the unpleasant decisions that he really wouldn't face up to. firing people, for example. >> ronald reagan couldn't fire people. >> i could ask nancy to verify it for me. >> she watched his back at all times. she was his personnel director. she made the basic decisions as to who was around him, who was hired, who was fired, and the
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criteria she used was will this person be working with my husband's agenda or their own agenda. >> yes or no, the iran contra catastrophe, would that have been if james baker stayed chief of staff for many years? >> there were many that thought what he was doing was both impeachable and felonious, and ronald reagan was advise d about that. one of the things we discovered in the film are documents that came to light that show that when told he was breaking the law, he forged ahead. i don't think even the best advisers would have been able to stop him. >> eugene jarecki, the documentary airs tonight on hbo. let me finish with the sort of much of glenn beck's nightly rants, the john birch society. that is apparently his bible. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. some models look so mad.
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let me finish tonight with glenn beck. it appears he's getting his scripts from john birch society. here is what editor bill kristol wrote in the conservative or neoconservative magazine the weekly standard. quote, hysteria is not a sign of health when glenn beck rants about the caliphate taking over the middle east from more objecting oh to the philippine and caliphate promoters from the american left.
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brings to mind john welch and the john birch society. he is marginalizing himself like his predecessors did in the 1960s. it is not a thing of the past, it exists and speaks to the present. it speaks to the words glenn beck broadcasts. january 31st, last week, the ceo of john birch society put out word that what's really happening in egypt is due to policies in the obama administration, including the state department of secretary of state clinton. here is glenn beck three days later. i plant my flag in this soil. groups from hardcore socialist and communist left, and extreme islam work together. where would he get this notion that the left is behind the protests? john birch society. is anyone else trying to tie together the left in the situation in cairo? no. are they doing it because it sells to people that lived through the cold war and comfort of seeing things through old glasses because people are afraid to be

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